22 May 2007
Can you believe that it has now been three years since my trip to Jordan? The reason I am thinking about it is because this was about the time I left to go over there. What's that? Some of you have no clue what I am talking about? Oh, well let me tell you a little bit. I went to Jordan for six weeks for an archaeological excavation at a site called Khirbet Iskander. I went with my former professor at Gannon University, Dr. Suzanne Richard and some other students from Gannon, SUNY, Lubbock Christian, and some others.
I knew absolutely no one who was going, aside from Dr. Richard. I left from Cleveland on a flight to Chicago, which would then take us to Amman, Jordan. I slept pretty much the entire 14 hour flight, so needless to say, I did not really get to know anyone from our group, even though I was sitting near most of them. When I got off the plane, I was told to say some weird Arabic phrase, which supposedly means "antiquities" or my luck, "lick my balls bitch." I made it through customs easily and that is when the fun began.
I went to pick up my luggage and some guy comes to me and wants to help me, I thought he worked at the airport. He goes looking for my bags, and comes back with some that are not mine, which leads me to believe he is an idiot because brown and red are not the same colors. So I spot my bags, grab them and start making my way towards the group. The guy says he will take me to my group, and leads me in the opposite direction. He puts me with another group (mostly Japanese tourists) and says "Here, this your group." I started to walk away and he stops me and says "Bakshish." I look at him confused and he says it again and holds out his hand. I tell him that I have no Jordanian money, and he says he will take American. I hand him two quarters and he gets insulted, says he wants $5. I laugh and try to leave, but he stands in front of me. One of the teachers from the group, Bill, comes over and asks what is going on and I explain to him that I did not ask for the guys help and that I will not fork out $5 so I could carry my own bags and find my own group. Bill yells at the guy and tells him to get lost. That was my first moment in Jordan, I started to think it was a huge mistake.
We get to our house in Madaba and we are told that we get to sleep all day tomorrow and that we need to be rested up. The guys in our room are me, Chris (from Victoria, TX), Mike (from Wash. DC), Austen (Lubbock, TX), Drew and Ross (both from Gannon). Chris and Mike are in their 30s and are asking us why we came and what not. Everyone is talking about how they are there for the experience and to learn about the culture and to see all the churches and what not, blah blah blah. Me, I tell them that I am there because I have every American STD and just want to experience some Arabian STDs.
Chris and I became good friends and started to become known as the two who would goof off the most when we were out on tours or visiting other sites. Also, we were the only ones who made it a habit of going for a beer most nights. We definitely discovered the fun of smoking the sheesha, which is just a hookah and tobacco, but pretty good, especially after a nice meal of lamb, rice, and pita bread.
After Chris and Mike left, I became more acquainted with Drew and we would play chess and backgammon. I also got him to start going to the bar and drinking with me, which was pretty cool.
Anyways this time of year makes me miss that trip and the fun that I had. I could write forever about some of the cool things, and maybe sometime I will start putting my pictures up of some of the stuff, but for now, I will leave you with a small group photo, which I took from Gannon's website. If you go there, do not be surprised to not see me, they only put pics up of the GU students.